5 False Gender Myths

We live in a society burdened with a host of gender stereotypes that often shape our choices and behaviors on a daily basis, impacting our relationships, and our development as human beings. Being aware of gender differences, while invalidating gender myths, brings us closer to truly understanding ourselves and our dynamics with the opposite sex.

Men are more aggressive than women

Nietzsche once said, “In revenge and in love woman is more barbaric than man is,” meaning women can often be as aggressive as men.  It’s only the circumstances surrounding the aggressive behavior accounting for these differences. For example, men are usually more overtly aggressive while women prefer covert aggression. Guys will openly boast, goading their competitors, while women favor the sneak attack. In this respect, women appear to be more cunning, their aggression more strategic.

Even more chilling is how women can be towards other women when competing for the same man, often exhibiting devastating weapons such as backstabbing, ostracism, and manipulation. A recent University of Florida study found women were more likely than men to “stalk, attack and abuse” their partners according to a recent study. Therefore, it is closer to the truth to deem both genders capable of situational aggression, depending on the motivating factors.

Women are more emotional

This belief is so entrenched in our thinking we automatically assume its validity. In fact, it’s not so much men are less emotional than it is women are better at identifying and expressing their feelings. A prime example is the emotion of anger and resentment, which men feel free to express, likely going back to the “boys don’t cry” syndrome we teach our young sons. If boys are ridiculed or punished for expressing emotions, interpreted as a show of weakness, they learn to suppress their feelings.

According to the study Sex Roles: a Journal of Research, both males and females were equally likely to express sympathetic feelings or lend emotional support to their friends. The difference in behavior in the men was only present when the subject was being watched by onlookers

Men are better at science and math

Another typical stereotype is men are better at science and math.  In actuality, until about the 6th grade, scoring is almost identical for both sexes.  Afterwards cultural stigma intrudes with the message girls can’t perform as well in these subjects as boys, and presto, you have “stereotype anxiety,” resulting in girls beginning to perform less well.

Tests performed at the University of Texas and New York University revealed a bias formed testing phenomenon, where women tested poorly after receiving negative feedback on their general lack of math and science skills. By contrast, when the women’s math and science abilities were cordoned and supported, the score gap disappeared. Apparently a clear case of “if everyone tells you it’s true, you learn to believe it.”

All the great art has come from men

The repression of women over the centuries has been the reason for many inconsistencies in the accomplishments of women in art. Women were rarely educated beyond the scope of homemaking until the early 1900’s. And even then they were rarely given credit for their accomplishments but rather for their association with a man who had “helped” her. It is commonly believed women resorted to putting a man’s name on their artwork in order for it to be seen and respected. These societal conditions severely repressed women’s creative endeavors over the centuries and it is only quite recently we are getting a glimpse woman’s amazing contributions to art.

Men must sew their wild oats

The expression “sowing wild oats” refers to the reckless and promiscuous behavior of young men, which dates back to at least the 17th century. The argument is that the man is biologically compelled to spread his seed to as many women as possible in order to continue the procreation of the species. In fact, the need to procreate is just as strong in women.

But women also experience the biological urge to choose a specific mate at a certain point who can aide her with her offspring. In fact, this so-called reckless, wild nature occurs in both men and women and demonstrates more of a characteristic of the personality than a gender-specific trait.

Approximately 18 years ago, Dr. John Gray in his popular book, “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus,” suggested gender differences are so vast we may as well be from different planets. However, as we delve more deeply into these gender myths, we discover we are more alike than our cherished stereotypes would have us believe.

6 thoughts on “5 False Gender Myths

  1. Pingback: 5 Signs He’s Not Ready to Marry You | California Psychics Blog

  2. meo

    I like the info about the Math because I was told by a High Schol teacher thet it was useless to teach higher Math to women because they were just going to stay home and have babies so teaching anything more than doubling a recipe or balancing a checkbook is a waste of time. I went on to study engineering later in life and have great math skills. Girls are taught to “dumb it down” to be attractive to boys in high school. They act dumb and get messages from society in movies and advertising than cute, pretty girls are dumb and get the guys and smart girls don’t. It is up to us to change that stereotype.
    As far as the line”women are more barbaric than men” I feel that is true. It is not a mtter of aggression but women will hang on to a hurt a lot longer than a man will. And when a women wants revenge she will spend a lot of time and energy plotting the best way to hurt someone, usually emotionally and mentaly rather than physically.
    Sexually, fidelity is not a natural state in humans. It is a learned response. If everyone could stop taking possesion of other people and allow everyone any sexual encounter they choose then the “chaeting” would stop. My husband can have sex with anyone he wants anytime he wants and after several months of this behavior he has decided that he does not want other women, just me. Forcing him into the fidelity cage would have made him want to see if he could “get away with it” .
    Women have always created the best creations in the most “godlike” way. We give birth and nuture children. What piece of art has any man created that can beat that. If we are too busy taking care of children, family and the men who are artists to sit and paint or write, so what. We create meals and homes and life… as well as industry, and art and literature and…. well there are creative people in both genders, I don’t think it is exclusive to one sex.
    What has not been noted is that history has been recorded by males, men have been the ones who wrote the history and translated the books that have been passed down, including bibles and other religious books. This alone influences how men and women are viewed in society and the stereotypes that have arisen with male dominance.

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  3. kim

    Hi. Here we go again. Yet one more time do we spend time bashing at one another! It is a good topic to discuss and it is valid too, but after reading and agreeing with what you all said, suddenly I notice I am pinning myself up against other women. ! Why a need to attack a certain gender, judging. I am made aware suddenly of my jealousy and distrust for women after reading these responses though. I am fully aware that there are men and women that are insatible, in sex, money, power, emotional and physical controls. I think it is our job to judge accordingly but we get so tainted and controlled by the societies in which we live; which can be very dangerous to a person’s level of happiness. Most of our emotions are based in the makeup of our brains from primitive days, but we have evolved greatly, or at least some of us have! :))))))))

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  4. Carmen Hexe

    Ah, Gina Rose, you are Wiccan! I have many Wiccan friends! I have studied Golden Dawn for a while and most of my lodge mates were Wiccans 🙂

    My mom’s nickname for me was “Kleine Hexe” (German for “little witch”) I have collected witches since I was a teenager and have my house full of them. I think you’d love my home, haha

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  5. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi Carmen,

    I can relate, most of my friends in my early years were male…..having attended an all girl Catholic high school I can tell you that women fight much more viciously and under-handed than most men…..at least back then they did.

    And I agree also that men can feel deep emotional pain but show the world a ” poker-face”.

    In short, I try to treat people the way I would want to be treated…..as a Wiccan I believe that it all comes back threefold….good and bad.
    And I try, whenever possible, to isolate myself from people I consider to have a mean or ” toxic ” attitude.

    from one Virgo to another…..Blessed Be )O( …..Carmen
    Gina Rose ext.9500

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  6. Carmen Hexe

    I remember having predominantly male friends up until I was in my 20s. I used to find women much more “dangerous,” in the sense that they had more power over me. My girlfriends would know my deepest, darkest secrets and therefore had much more ammunition for betrayal. Sadly, some of them chose to use their knowledge against me at times. I can honestly say that I was hurt much deeper from women than I ever was from a man.
    I found that men, just as described above, would fight “cleaner,” while the women did it in a manipulative, conniving manor that you wouldn’t necessarily see coming. They would often go behind my back, but then, I found that straight forward honesty is amiss amongst both genders.

    When it comes to how sensitive males are, I would say that men can be much more sensitive than women. Think divorce or separation. A lot of men I know took years to get over betrayal and being cheated on, while we women tend to bounce back much quicker. To a degree, I would say that men get hurt much deeper, even though they may not show it.

    I really stopped paying attention to the stereotypes regarding genders. I assess on an individual basis and that has served me pretty well. I find that there are rotten apples in both genders, and sometimes the stereotypes are simply either false, or dated.

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